You would like to buy a property in Italy and you’d like to know what services an estate agent can offer you during the process?
In Italy, an estate agent (agente immobliare) acts as a mediator (mediatore) between the seller and the buyer. He or she will bring the prospective seller and buyer together facilitate the negotiations and most of the time, but not always, will draw up the offer to buy (proposta) and/or the preliminary sales agreement (compromesso).
Another important distinction compared with other European countries is the fact that an Italian estate agent can represent both seller and buyer at the same time. It might be a bit strange for foreigners but – as an in Italy registered estate agent myself – it might sometimes help to have a good overview of the whole process and to have good contact with both parties. Of course, you can ask a lawyer for assistance, but this is not always necessary as the estate agent has been trained to assist you!
It is also possible to ask an estate agent to be your “buying” estate agent. At ItaliaCasa we frequently work in that capacity. However, in this case, it is important that your estate will be the first one contacting the “selling” estate agent – and not you.
Especially with estate agents catering to the foreign markets and focusing on e.g. holiday properties you should expect to waste less time finding your dream house because they have already selected the most suitable properties. Also, they will advise you when to ask an expert for an e.g. a structural survey. Furthermore, they will do all the necessary checks on the legality of the property and if the owner is really the owner!
Unlike in many other European countries, the estate agent is not a “free” profession. Before you can work as an estate agent you have to enroll on a course, sit for the exams organized by the Chamber of Commerce and register as an estate agent. When a person or a company is not registered as an estate agent they cannot ask for a commission. Furthermore, as the role of an estate agent is always evolving, it is recommended to select an estate agent who is a member of a professional association like the FIAIP (one of the largest associations of professional estate agents in Italy) of which ItaliaCasa is a member. These associations are organizing courses, workshops, keeping their members up-to-date and strengthening their professionalism. So, start your search for a dream house well and select a properly registered estate agent!